Four years of Trump slugging it out with the permanent political class he calls the “Deep State” has proven that president is at best a ceremonial post. Why are we still biting our nails over who won, when it changes so little?
Love him or hate him, President Donald Trump has done more than any other politician this century to pull up the curtain on the entrenched political interests that really run Washington, drawing them out of the shadows to defend what they believe is their turf against the spray-tanned barbarian at the gates. Between his uncouth mannerisms and his alarmingly sane policy promises, Trump in 2016 broke all the unwritten rules of being president, leaving his Deep State nemeses to pick up the pieces and try to put them back together.
Four years later, Trump has been largely neutered, his media crucifixion and lamentably orthodox term a cautionary tale to all future presidents who might try to buck the system. The powers that be no longer need to assassinate a troublesome president – it’s far easier (and less messy) to kill their spirit. Trump has not ended any wars (indeed, he’s dropped more bombs on more civilians than superhawks George W. Bush and Barack Obama), nor has he drained the Washington ‘swamp’ of lobbyists, career politicians and think tank goons (unless you count appointing them to his cabinet as ‘draining’).
Instead, he’s cut taxes for the rich, rolled back the regulations that kept Big Business from polluting America’s air and water, and given away the store to Israel, even assassinating one of its most powerful enemies, the Iranian Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani.
While some of his supporters no doubt love those latter policies, these are the kind of ‘wins’ any other president would secure to please his wealthy masters – hardly the actions of a maverick like Trump fans believe their hero to be. The square peg has been stuffed into the round hole. Trump has become a creature of the establishment that (ironically) still hates him, even as he blusters about locking some of them up.
President Trump has recently used his power of pardon to absolve a number of high profile individuals from criminal charges because they may have been treated unfairly by the justice system. Last month, Trump posthumously pardoned the great African-American boxer Jack Johnson, who was falsely imprisoned for traveling with a white woman. While this was a nice symbolic gesture, it did not do much aside from creating a PR opportunity for the Trump administration.
Most recently Trump pardoned the controversial conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza, who was accused of and confessed to campaign finance violations. Trump has also suggested pardoning Martha Stewart, who was arrested years ago for insider trading but is not currently in jail, as well as Rod Blagojevich who was impeached and then charged for corruption and soliciting bribes.
Leonard Leo is a board member of the Opus Dei’s Catholic Information Center (CIC), where sitting U.S. Attorney General, Bill Barr, and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, also once served. The Catholic lay group has been described as one of the world’s “most powerful and politically committed” secret societies, with direct ties to the Vatican as a “personal prelature,” an official status awarded by John Paul II that made sure the group only answers to the Pope himself.
Founded in 1928 by a Spanish priest and lawyer, Opus Dei, wouldn’t become the agent of global fascism until later in the twentieth century when the CIA began funneling money to an Opus Dei think tank in Chile called the Chilean Institute for General Studies (IGS) after it drew support for the overthrow of democratically elected president Salvador Allende from Chilean bishops, and was a pivotal cog in the implementation of Operation Condor – a transnational intelligence operation running through Southcom to aid South American right-wing dictatorships in the 1970s. Many of the members of IGS went on to become cabinet officials in Pinochet’s military junta.
The Pope’s special designation was the result of Opus Dei’s covert role, assisted through William Colby’s CIA, to effectuate damage control after the collapse of an Italian bank in the late ‘70s led to multiple investigations by Italian authorities that uncovered a concerted effort to disrupt and dismantle left-leaning groups or political parties in Europe by financing so-called “stay-behind units” of former Nazi soldiers and other extreme right-wing elements through a global money-laundering, drug-running and assassination network involving the highest echelons of the U.S. government, the Holy See and the Sicilian Mafia.
Known as Operation Gladio, it was only as the scheme was unraveling in the late 70s that Opus Dei began to play its vital role in covering up the movement of billions of dollars worldwide to prop up dictatorships in Latin America, as well as acts of subversion and sabotage throughout the old continent. In 1984, the organization was recruited to reorganize the Vatican’s finances, which were then under heavy scrutiny from Italian investigators.
“Here’s the thing, there’s about 150 people that rule the world. Anyone that wants to go into politics they’re all f*cken puppets, okay? There are 150 — and they’re all men — that run the world. Period. Fullstop. They control most of the important assets — they control the money flows. And these are not the tech entrepreneurs. Now, they are going to get rolled over, over the next 5-10 years by the people that are really underneath pulling the strings.”
— Chamath Palihapitiya, Nov 10, 2017, Stanford Graduate School of Business
Some of you may remember Chamath Palihapitiya from his warning that social media was “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” which received generous attention in the media and went viral as a result. What most people completely missed, and what no single major media outlet reported — at least to the best of my knowledge — was when he explained that “150 men rule the world” and they are “going to roll over” the tech entrepreneurs in the coming years.
Republicans and Democrats alike fear that the other party will attempt to hijack this election. President Trump is convinced that mail-in ballots are a scam except in Florida, where it’s safe to vote by mail because of its “great Republican governor.” The FBI is worried about foreign hackers continuing to target and exploit vulnerabilities in the nation’s electoral system, sowing distrust about the parties, the process, and the outcome.
I, on the other hand, am not overly worried: after all, the voting booths have already been hijacked by a political elite comprised of Republicans and Democrats who are determined to retain power at all costs.
The outcome is a foregone conclusion: the Deep State will win and “we the people” will lose.